Credit scores can impact job search

April 18, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
If you want to get a good job, the advice we've all heard is to go to college and get good grades. Now we're adding a piece of our own advice -- pay your bills on time. This report gives new meaning to the term "college credit."

On college campuses it is education by the numbers, and the numbers really do matter. However, there is one number that is often overlooked on campuses -- your credit score.

A credit score shows how well a consumer handles their money and that's something employers are interested in.

"More and more employers are starting to look at that," says Mark Kantrowitz with Finaid.org.

Experts say pulling a credit score is an easy way to find out more about an applicant's background.

"It becomes one of a tool of things that they have at their arsenal when they're screening applicants for somewhat, sometimes very competitive positions," says Curtis Arnold with Cardratings.com.

Certain employers are especially likely to rely on credit scores.

"Banking industries, government related jobs, police, fire, those types of jobs are pulling credit more and more," says Arnold.

So what can you do? Check your credit score and if it is lower than desired, let the employer know the circumstances, along with your intentions to get that score higher.

"I would be up front with that employer and the human resources department. Just tell them about your personal situation," says Arnold.

So remember, your credit score could mean as much to your future as your math score. Work hard at paying your bills on time. That's always been good advice, but now it's advice given sooner in life.

Credit reports are free for the asking. Credit scores cost about $15, but come with a lot of good financial information and education.

LINKS:

www.finaid.org


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